What to Do in the Event of a Dental Emergency
- August 12, 2013
- 4 mins read
People are always at risk of breaking or damaging their teeth, sometimes when they least expect it. Routinary activities such as eating, exercising, and participating in both physical and seemingly harmless activities can cause dental emergencies, which is why it pays to have an idea of what you should do when such an incident presents itself to you.
There are times when some individuals mistake common teeth problems for dental emergencies. Many dental practices emphasize the word “emergency” and take time to educate their patients about which incidents can be considered as an emergency. Dental emergencies are those that need immediate treatment and cannot be scheduled like a normal dental procedure.
These emergencies typically occur when teeth gets broken, cracked, or loosened when they are not supposed to. Most often other parts of the mouth become affected too, such as the lips, gums, tongue, and cheeks. Implants and other products of previous dental procedures can be affected as well.
Although prevention, as they say, is the best cure, there are times when taking precautions are not enough and accidents are inevitable. In such cases, oral injuries should be treated as soon as possible in order to prevent further pain and discomfort.
Read on to learn what you should do if you encounter any of the following dental emergencies:
This is where postponing seeing a dentist won’t help at all. Call your dentist immediately, and if possible, have it checked within the hour. There might still be a chance for your tooth to survive the trauma. Handle the tooth by its crown and not by the root, as touching the root can damage any cells that might be needed to reattach your tooth to the bone.
If it fell or landed on something dirty, gently wash it with water to remove any dirt. However, keep in mind not to scrub the tooth. Wrap the tooth in a clean cloth and submerge it in milk or saline solution.
Remember, reattachment is only considered if a permanent tooth is concerned. Lastly, check whether there are any remaining pieces of your tooth still attached to the bone and then inform your dentist as soon as possible.
Do not try to fix a dislocated tooth on your own or force attempt to reposition it to its original position. If you can manage to realign it with the slightest finger pressure, you may go ahead but it is not recommended as you might do more harm than good to your tooth.
Chipped or Fractured Tooth
It is important to know that there are many types of tooth fractures, ranging from moderate fracture to a more widespread damage. Fractures with moderate severity include considerable damage to the enamel, tissue, and the pulp. Severe fractures, on the other hand, have been damaged and traumatized beyond the point of reconstruction.
If you find yourself in such a situation, the first thing to do is to rinse your mouth with lukewarm water and then place an ice pack afterwards to minimize swelling. If experiencing pain, take Ibuprofen and not aspirin.
Preparing in Advance
You can prepare your very own dental care kit which you can use for emergencies. It should have at least the following items:
- Contact details of your dentist
- Saline solution
- Container with lid
- Sterilized/Clean Cloth or Gauze
- Pain reliever (Ibuprofen)
You are now armed with the knowledge you need to handle a dental emergency smoothly. Do not forget, however, that prevention is still the better cure, so stay on the safe side at all times.
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